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Cable Cutters for 6/4

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Paul Miller:
My first time making 50A cables with 6/4 SOOW. What size of cable cutters do I need to make a clean cut? For examples, Ideal has 14" cutters that will handle 250 MCM, 22" cutters that handle 500 MCM, and 32" cutters that handle 1000 MCM. What's the rule of thumb here?

Brian Bolly:

--- Quote from: Paul Miller on August 15, 2023, 03:08:37 AM ---My first time making 50A cables with 6/4 SOOW. What size of cable cutters do I need to make a clean cut? For examples, Ideal has 14" cutters that will handle 250 MCM, 22" cutters that handle 500 MCM, and 32" cutters that handle 1000 MCM. What's the rule of thumb here?

--- End quote ---

Are you going to be doing a lot of this, or just doing one or two cables?  The tools above also list the largest diameter cable they’ll cut - I wouldn’t try to go anything shorter than the 22” handle for something of the 6/4 variety.  But if you don’t want to spend the tool cost for only a couple cables, a hack saw and a razor knife will get you a reasonably clean enough cut to terminate, it just takes a bit longer.

Frank Koenig:

--- Quote from: Brian Bolly on August 15, 2023, 07:44:44 AM ---Are you going to be doing a lot of this, or just doing one or two cables?  The tools above also list the largest diameter cable they’ll cut - I wouldn’t try to go anything shorter than the 22” handle for something of the 6/4 variety.  But if you don’t want to spend the tool cost for only a couple cables, a hack saw and a razor knife will get you a reasonably clean enough cut to terminate, it just takes a bit longer.

--- End quote ---

Good guidance. I’ve hack-sawed my way through quite a few electrical wires and cables back in the day. It’s messy, but it works. It helps to clamp the cable well in a vice or the like. You can clean up the mess using smaller diagonal-cutting pliers. I did finally buy a Klein 63035 that’s rated for 350 MCM. (Always fighting the last battle…) It will cut through 6/4 SOOW easily since it’s mostly rubber. If you do buy nice cutters don’t lend them to anyone. They are for copper and aluminum only, not bicycle locks, etc.

--Frank

Brian Jojade:
+1 on the hack saw method.  Yes, it's slower, but it's a tool you likely already have. Unless you plan on making more than a couple 50 amp feeders, that's the easiest route.  And the hack saw works on pretty much any gauge cable you end up working with then.

doug johnson2:
I have always cut out a piece of the jacket and then cut the individual conductors with cutters.

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